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I have a question regarding the real value of having NCSA's certifications. Today I reach their site and I easily passed the JavaScript certification within minutes, but I never reach questions related to Literal Javascript Notation (Json), closures or browser specific APIs.

This facts let me to doubt a bit of the real value of the test (and the proper certification you can have if you pay them $34), but maybe Im wrong and just earned a respected certification within the States for easy questions... in which case I can spend some time doing other certifications on the same site.

Did you have an NCSA certification and think is worth having it in your resume, or you know of a better certification program?

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closed as not constructive by gnat, MichaelT, Martijn Pieters, Dynamic, World Engineer May 26 '13 at 22:54

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When interviewing prospective employees, I only consider certifications if there is no experience. And that is only for an entry level position. That has no reflection on NCSA certification quality, although with your experience and the low cost of the certification I would treat it as highly suspect. –  Berin Loritsch Feb 11 '11 at 17:28
possible duplicate of Are certifications worth it? –  gnat Jul 26 '13 at 7:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here's my take on it:

When I look at a candidate, I look at two things

  1. Their starting education, and
  2. Their experience.

Some clarification:

Education is not as crucial as most would think, but I am definitely looking for something. A CS degree from a university is more than good enough. If all you have in the way of education are a bunch of certifications that cost $34 a piece, you might have an uphill battle compared to someone who spent 4 years of their life devoted to learning about CS. Its not a deal killer, but you'll have to WOW me with your passion.

Experience is the golden bullet to me. Now when I say "experience," I do not mean work experience. I mean programming experience. Someone who programmed nights and weekends non-stop for 7 years is more experienced (in my mind) than someone who has a 9-5 job that they've never taken seriously. Good programmers are passionate, and if you are truly a good programmer, then you'll spend the entire interview talking about both work projects and side projects (rather than bragging about certifications).

Bottom line: Don't expect certifications to be a magic bullet. If you want to get them, go ahead, but if you truly know Javascript, then employers will be able to figure that out with little to no difficulty.

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Coming from a 3rd world country where computer education came somewhat late, as we had long graduated form college, I want to believe that Certification exams and the certificates are the only respite we have viz-a-viz the demands of the industries.

I have worked as a banker for 12 yrs during which I switched from line banking to IT where I rose trough the ranks to become one of the banks top Computer Implementation officers and later Systems Analysts. Plus, I single-handedly computerized more than 25 branches of the bank during my career. I achieved all these feats without any paper qualification on IT/ICT!

When I came across NCSA, I took their online exam and got good grades. With my NCSA certificate I received job offers in Japan and New Zealand! I now work as an ICT consultant and am highly respected in the field.

I know that University degree is good, but it's not the degree that gets the job done but you. You can go to the University and obtain degrees but you cannot obtain experience there. Also you may be able to buy your way through obtaining a degree but you cannot buy experience.

While with the bank, my first academically qualified assistant that was employed and deployed to my department had a Masters Degree in CS, but with his degree he knew nothing about Xenix OS or Xenix operations, he knew nothing about IMOS V, Could not operate in a Unix environment! Heck, he knew nothing about C++!

I still want to believe that the certification work for some people, depending on where you come from. The NCSA online exams has 30+ questions, each of which must be answered within 90 seconds! Even if you sit by your console with your note book you cannot cheat! Before you can flip to an answer it would already be time-up!

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+1 for the non-1st-world perspective. –  NWS Dec 3 '12 at 9:37

To be completely honest with you, I have never heard of this certification. I am a developer working in Orange County, CA. Now I haven't heard of everything, nor am I an expert on certifications. I do know that certifications are not considered prestigious in the U.S. Good experience is golden and an academic degree follows on the table of precedence.

This is not to say that the certification is bad or won't help at all. The most common use I hear of in the certification world, is for career changers. They have a degree in something non-tech and X years of experience in that field, then decide to switch careers and become a developer. So they maybe grab a SUN/Oracle Java cert. or a Zend PHP cert. and then they do some home projects and their code in combination with the certificate is SOMETIMES enough to get their foot in the door.

I will also note that simply coding at home as a serious hobby has almost certainly led to more jobs/careers than any certification.

My two cents, thank you for reading my novel.

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So I'm not the only one who saw the name of the certification and went, "huh?" –  justkt Feb 11 '11 at 18:40
No your not, lol. –  hockfan86 Feb 11 '11 at 20:34

I own a computer business in Griffin, GA and have interviewed computer technicians who received their technician certificate from NCSA and to tell you the truth these folks have been easier to train in our methods of doing things than those who hold B.A. degrees as those with degrees often try to take over the business and tell me how to run the company. I have also found that applicants who have little to no experience but hold a certificate from NCSA come with no bad habits that come back to bite me as a business owner.

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this post is rather hard to read (wall of text). Would you mind editing it into a better shape? –  gnat May 24 '13 at 21:13

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